Bringing a new puppy or dog into your home is a fun and exciting experience. One of the first issues that should be addressed is the puppy’s health. There are a few very visible characteristics that can be checked by even an amateur, to assure that you are choosing or have chosen a healthy puppy as a new member of your home.
The eyes of a puppy or dog should always be clear. If any discharge is noticed, it could be caused by a wide variety of problems, some quite simple to fix, and some more serious. Always take the dog to a qualified Vet if the problem persists for more then a day or two, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or a lack of energy. A dogs eye’s should also be bright and sparkly. They should not show any signs of inflammation.
The ears of a puppy should not have an odor. A bad odor in a dogs ears can be caused by mites, an ear infection, a yeast infection, or some other condition that should be checked out by the Vet. A dog ears should not have any discharge, although it is normal for them to develop some ear wax that can easily be cleaned with a cotton swab. If a dog acts as if his ears are sore, this too should be checked out.
The dogs mouth can tell a good deal about its overall health. A healthy dog will not have bad breath, although bad breath is not always a sign of a serious illness, especially if the puppy has just eaten something with a strong odor. The gums of a dog or puppy should always be firm and pink. Discolored gums can be a sign of a worm infestation or a serious case of anemia, both of which should promptly be treated by the Veterinarian. Always check an older dog for signs of cavities or gums that have receded, as this condition can cause malnutrition because the dog cannot properly chew its food.
The dogs body should be free of lumps, bruises and/or red spots. The coat should be soft and free of mats. If the dog is scratching or seems uncomfortable, it may have a flea infestation that needs to be addressed. The body of a dog should feel firm in the muscled areas and he or she should not show signs of pain, discomfort or tenderness when being petted or groomed.
Taking a few minutes each day to check your dogs overall physical appearance can help the Vet be able to diagnose any apparent problems. When bringing home a new dog or puppy, be sure to schedule its first appointment with your Vet within 48 hours.
Personal and “A Simple Guide to Puppies”.